FOXBORO, Mass. – A balanced attack on offense and a dominant effort defensively turned out to be the perfect recipe for Mansfield on Thanksgiving Day.
Buoyed by five different touchdown scorers, Mansfield clinched the Davenport division title with a convincing 33-0 win over rival Foxboro, also notching its first shutout on Thanksgiving since 2009.
“We had a heck of a year winning the division and winning nine games,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “I think both teams have a lot to be proud of. And both teams have a lot of good players back and it will be fun next year for sure.
“I thought we had good balance. Just everything went our way in the first half…this was a great way to wrap it up against a good Foxboro team, and to play dominate. Especially coming off a tough playoff loss, this flips this season. Finishing at 9-2 is a lot better than 8-3 and losing your last two. We had two weeks to get ready, we worked hard on the field and in the weight room, just a great effort by our seniors.”
Senior linebacker Kyle Murphy was named the Don Currivan MVP for the Hornets while senior captain Jephte Jean earned the Matt McCue Lineman of the Game for Mansfield. Foxboro’s Lincoln Moore (Vin Igo MVP) and Andrew Finn (Jeff Parker Lineman of the Game) earned the honors for the Warriors.
“I’ve been playing with these kids since second grade, and we’ve worked year in and year out, and it’s a brotherhood really,” said Murphy, who missed last season recovering from an injury. “It means a lot for it to end in a satisfying way. We won’t get this chance to play together again but I’m grateful to share the field with these boys one last time.
“We were physical and we had a lot of energy. I think we wanted it more than them on every single play, it meant more to us.”
“He’s a great story,” Redding said of Murphy. “He didn’t play varsity last year coming off a knee injury. He had a phenomenal year on defense for us and I’m so happy for him to get the MVP today because he worked so hard to get back on the year.
“He came in this year like a man possessed. He was one of our best defensive players and played great football for us.”
Mansfield took control in the first quarter and never surrendered it the rest of the way. On the first series of the game, the Hornets only needed four plays before finding the end zone. Junior backup quarterback Connor Curtis came in after three plays, and although he’s been called on mostly to run with the ball, he slung a deep pass down the middle. Foxboro’s defensive backs were able to get their hands up, but the ball bounced back in the air and junior receiver Trevor Foley hauled it in with one hand and went the distance for a 47-yard touchdown. Travis Hennessy’s point after put Mansfield ahead 7-0 just over two minutes into the game.
Foxboro looked to mount a response with a lengthy drive and marched into Hornet territory. But on the 11th play of the drive, Mansfield junior Brandon Jackman read the play and jumped on a short pass, and took it to the house for a 77-yard interception return with 3:15 left in the opening quarter.
Mansfield’s defense delivered again, forcing a quick three and out. The offense was quick to reward the defense. Junior Tommy Smith, who started the year on JV but was called up due to injury after two weeks, broke free up the left sideline, following a great block from right tackle Jason Riley, who pulled to the left, and Smith raced away for an 80-yard touchdown, boosting Mansfield’s advantage to 20-0 with 40.5 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Things just snowballed early and we took control and made some great plays,” Redding said. “Tommy Smith stepped up big this year and ended up as our leading rusher and one of the best stories of the season.”
Foxboro had its best drive of the game in the second quarter, covering 59 yards on 15 plays to move inside the Mansfield 10-yard line after a 9-yard pass and catch from Mike Marcucella to Tony Sulham.
The Warriors tried to get the run game going with Moore (58 yards on nine carries) and sophomore Ben Angelini, but Mansfield’s front seven controlled the line. Jean and senior Colton Johnson combined for a tackle for a loss on first down, and then Hennessy, Murphy, and Ryan DeGirolamo combined for a third down stop. Foxboro’s 23-yard field goal attempt was just wide with 3:05 left.
“It felt really good to win this game,” Jean said. “We had a tough loss to Milford but we bounced back and it’s great to get a big dub on my final game in the Mansfield jersey.”
That was plenty of time for Mansfield to find the end zone again. Conner Zukowski (11/12, 167 yards) hit Drew Sacco for 15 yards on first down, then linked up with Foley for the first time for 35 yards. Zukowski hooked up with CJ Bell for 14 yards down to the 2-yard line. Despite some big tackles from Moore and junior Brandon Mazenkes-O’Grady on first and second down, Zukowski scrambled just inside the pylon for a 6-yard touchdown with just 17.8 seconds left in the half to make it 26-0.
“They were the better football team, pure and simple,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “They were a lot hungrier than we were. I guess we never really recovered from losing in the playoffs [on Saturday]. Give them all the credit, they executed better. We had some chances to make some plays early on but we didn’t make any plays.”
Both Mansfield and Foxboro entered the game undefeated through three games in the Davenport division, but the Hornets really didn’t have a blemish as they outscored their first three division foes 115-0 — yes, three games and three shutouts.
That trend continued as Mansfield continued the shutout in the second half. Foxboro started the second half with the ball but just two plays in, Bell hauled in an overthrow for an interception to get Mansfield the ball back.
That led to an eight-play, 66-yard drive from the Hornets. It started with a mix of Smith and Sacco, and then a 38-yard pass to Bell moved the sticks. Moore once again had a tackle for loss inside the five for the Foxboro defense, but Sacco plunged in from 2 yards out two plays later for the final score of the game.
“It was an emphasis at halftime that we didn’t want to give up any points,” Redding said. “We don’t really care if we score another point in the second half but let’s play defense. We haven’t gotten a shutout in this game in a long time. I don’t think we were aware of not being scored on in the division but it was more about getting a shutout on Thanksgiving against a really good team.
“Their film in September, they looked young but talented…their film in November, they looked really good,” Redding said of Foxboro. “They have a lot of good pieces, they’re going to be very, very good a year from now. And it’ll be another battle on Thanksgiving. They had a great year, Jack did an unbelievable job after they started 0-3 to turn it around and get to the final four.”
Mansfield football finishes 9-2 overall and 4-0 in the Davenport while Foxboro finishes at 6-6 overall and 3-1 in league action.
BELLINGHAM, Mass. – Foxboro senior kicker Sam Carpenter couldn’t have put his kickoff any closer to the goal line without it being a touchback.
Following a 67-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Mike Marcucella to classmate Nolan Gordon that brought the Warriors within 14-12 with 5:29 to play in the game, Carpenter booted one that Grafton’s Liam Donagher originally let bounce. Instead of crossing the goal line, the ball stopped bouncing just before the goal line with the Warriors kickoff team barreling down the field.
Donagher was forced to pick it up and return it, and with a handful of Foxboro players chomping at the bit to make a big stop deep in Grafton territory, he was able to get out to the left sideline, got around one final block and then raced all the way for a 99-yard touchdown to restore a two-score lead.
Grafton’s defense forced a turnover on downs on the Warriors’ ensuing drive and had an interception to close out Foxboro’s last chance to secure a 21-12 win to advance to the Division 4 state championship game.
“That just took all of the wind out of our sails and any of the momentum we had built up to at that point,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “Sam kicked the ball perfectly, they were way up and we just didn’t make the play.
“You gotta make plays. Some days you make them, and some days you don’t.”
Foxboro fought back after going down a pair of touchdowns early. The Gators scored on their opening drive when quarterback Casey Jordan linked up with Donagher for an 11-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. The touchdown came two plays after a 34-yard connection between the two.
The Warriors’ second drive of the game came to a halt on an interception from Ryanne Chibani, who returned it into Foxboro territory. Three plays later, Jordan dropped a 26-yard touchdown pass just over the defensive back into Donagher’s arms right inside the pylon to make it 14-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Foxboro’s defense didn’t surrender another score the rest of the game, and the Warriors went to work clawing their way back into it.
A booming punt from Carpenter pinned Grafton at their 2-yard line, and the defense forced a three-and-out. An 11-yard pass from Marcucella to Lincoln Moore jump-started the drive. Grafton thought they had an interception but a roughing the passer call kept the drive alive, but not much longer as Carpenter booted a 39-yard field goal to get Foxboro on the board with 39 seconds left in the half.
Foxboro’s defense came up with a big play on the opening drive of the second half. Grafton marched to the Warriors’ 21-yard line but a throw to the end zone was read perfectly by Kaden Hassett and he came down with the interception for the touchback.
The Warriors capitalized on the momentum as Marcucella hit Gordon for an 18-yard completion to move the sticks on third down. Marcucella sandwiched a pair of passes to Tony Sulham around a 15-yard scamper from Ben Angelini, and the Warriors were quickly in the red zone.
Marcucella got inside the five on an 8-yard keeper but the drive stalled there and Carpenter came out to drill a 24-yard field goal to make it a one-score game, 14-6, with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
Foxboro’s defense bent on the ensuing Grafton drive but didn’t break. Jordan scrambled for 26 yards on a key third down play but later in the drive, the Warriors stuffed a 4th and short sneak attempt to get the ball back.
“I thought we took the run away from them but give them credit, they took what they could do better than what I’ve seen them do, and that’s throw the football,” Martinelli said. “They’ve relied on the run for most of the season and we were able to keep that in check but we weren’t able to stop the deep quick scores in the first half. [Grafton] is a good team but I’m proud of my kids too. Nobody ever expected us to be here but when you get here, you wish you could win it.
“We thought we could do a pretty good job against the run but  hit  a couple of times and those were the early scores. We never really rebounded all the way back, close, but not all of the way.”
After some short yardage carries and completions, Marcucella hit Gordon down the left sideline, just out of the reach of the defensive back, and Gordon raced his way to a 67-yard touchdown. Foxboro’s two-point attempt came up a yard short of the goal line.
Although Foxboro came up short in its quest to reach Gillette Stadium, it was a terrific run from a squad that reached the state semifinals last year but graduated a lot of talent, including one of the best running backs in program history. Martinelli credited his senior class for helping this team – which lost the first three games of the season – for making this run.
“They are the glue that kept everything together,” Martinelli said. “We don’t have a whole lot of them but the ones we had kept the young kids going, kept themselves going. At 0-3, they never hung their heads and they just kept working.”
Foxboro football (6-5) will host rival Mansfield on Thanksgiving Day with the Davenport division title on the line.
FOXBORO, Mass. – The Foxboro offense made the biggest play of the game, but its defense was the reason it had that opportunity.
Sophomore quarterback Mike Marcucella hit freshman Rashaan Lewis for the go-ahead touchdown with just 1:35 left in the fourth quarter and the Warriors’ defense denied visiting Pembroke on the final drive of the game to secure a thrilling 24-21 win.
The Warriors marched into Pembroke territory with under three minutes to go but a red zone interception put a sudden halt to the drive, and the Titans took over with 2:45 to go and a 21-17 lead.
Foxboro’s defense, which forced a pair of turnovers on the previous two Titan drives, held Pembroke in check. Lincoln Moore had a tackle for a loss on first down, and on 3rd and 3 from the 23-yard line, junior Shane Henri made a diving play to trip up the runner and senior Da’Myi Cameron finished the tack for a 2-yard loss.
The Warriors used all three timeouts to stop the clock, and a short Pembroke punt gave Foxboro 1st and 10 at the Titans’ 44-yard line.
Marcucella (18/26, 215 yards, 3 TD) hit sophomore Ben Angelini out of the backfield for 13 yards and a first down. Then consecutive passes to the right sideline to Eddie Feldman (eight yards) and Tony Sulham (seven yards) moved the sticks. On the next play, with five wide receivers, Marcucella went over the middle to Lewis on a quick hitch and the freshman slipped a tackle and found enough space between three defenders to dive across the goal line for the go-ahead score.
“The defense played terrific,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “We gave them a couple, they broke one big one on us. I couldn’t ask for any more out of these kids. They are so young but I have a solid group of seniors that live and die for this. This senior group was 0-10 as freshmen and now they are leading a team to the second round of the playoffs and for a shot at the Davenport at Thanksgiving.”
The Warriors’ defense got off to a great start in the second half, a tackle for loss by Marc Francois forced Pembroke into a three-and-out. But a Foxboro fumble — one of five turnovers from the Warriors — gifted the ball back to the Titans.
Pembroke cashed in three plays later when Jack Tosone found a sliver of space up the middle and turned on the jets, racing away for a 79-yard touchdown and a 21-17 lead with 6:02 left in the third quarter.
Things nearly went from bad to worse for Foxboro as the Warriors coughed up the ensuing kickoff and the Titans took over just outside the red zone at the 25-yard line.
Foxboro’s defense delivered again as junior Brandon Mazenkes-O’Grady, who was a constant presence in the Pembroke pocket, pressured the quarterback into a throw that was intercepted by sophomore Nolan Gordon at the 9-yard line.
The Warriors’ offense went on a lengthy drive, extended twice by fourth down penalties from the Titans. First came too many men on the field and then came roughing the kicker. Foxboro couldn’t make the Titans pay though and had to punt from midfield.
The Titans looked content to milk the clock with the lead, running the play clock down with over seven minutes to play. On second and eight, Mazenkes-O’Grady once again applied some pressure and Henri made an acrobatic play to come down with the interception.
While it was a grand finish for the Foxboro offense, it was a bit of a rocky start. Just three plays in, Pembroke’s Steve Johnson picked off a pass. But the Titans couldn’t capitalize as Mazenkes-O’Grady had a third down sack to get the ball back.
Foxboro’s second drive didn’t go much better as a fumble on the second play gave possession back to the visitors at the 10-yard line. On third and goal, Jake Falco hit Will McNamara right at the goal line and it was ruled the ball crossed the goal line for an 8-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 5:31 left in the first quarter.
Behind a 13-play, 55-yard drive — much of which the Warriors had to cover twice due to penalties — Foxboro got on the board. Marcucella hit Gordon (five catches, 72 yards) for 26 yards and then got the Titans to jump offside for a first down. But the drive stalled inside the 10-yard line and Sam Carpenter drilled a 23-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
The Warriors’ defense eventually forced a punt and Foxboro made it back-to-back scoring drives. Behind a couple of first down runs from Angelini (23 carries, 96 yards), Foxboro moved the ball down field. On second and 15, Sulham (five catches, 65 yards) was wide open and Marcucella hit him in stride for a 45-yard touchdown and a 10-7 advantage.
Pembroke found success in the air on its next drive, as Falco linked up with Johnson over the middle for 32 yards, and on the next play, after a great double move from Johnson, the pair hooked up for a 59-yard touchdown and a 14-10 lead.
Foxboro went back ahead just before halftime. A five-play, 60-yard drive was capped off by a 30-yard touchdown pass from Marcucella to Gordon as the Warriors staked a 17-14 lead at halftime.
Foxboro football (5-4) advances to the Division 4 State Quarterfinals and will travel to #3 Bedford (8-1) on a date and time to be announced.
Taunton, 28 @ Attleboro, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Malachi Johnson 44-yard rush, XP good; (T) Jacob Leonard 12-yard pass to Jose Touron, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Ethan Lako 1-yard rush, Matt Harvie 2-point pass to Ayden Ramirez; (A) M. Harvie 48-yard pass to A. Ramirez, 2-point failed.
4th Quarter: (T) M. Johnson 40-yard rush, J. Leonard 2-point rush; (T) J. Leonard 40-yard rush, XP good.
Canton, 37 vs. Blue Hills Regional, 6 – Final
1Q: No scoring.
2Q: (C) Godson Ofonagoro rush, Hayden Rose XP good; Owen Lane rush, H. Rose XP good.
3Q: (C) O. Lane pass to Josh Richards, H. Rose XP good; (C) H. Rose rush, XP failed.
4Q: (C) H. Rose 35-yard field goal; (C) Cole Ouellette 5-yard rush, H. Rose XP good; (BH) Blue Hills rush, XP failed.
Foxboro, 20 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final 1H: (F) Mike Marcucella 17-yard pass to Rashaan Lewis, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) S. Carpenter 38-yard field goal; (F) S. Carpenter 44-yard field goal.
2H: (F) Ben Angelini 1-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
Milford, 43 @ Franklin, 24 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Nick Araujo 4-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Garrett Portesi 28-yard field goal; (M) Romeo Holland 15-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (F) Jase Lyons 69-yard pass to Luke Davis, G. Portesi XP good; (M) Evan Cornelius 10-yard pass to Andrew Rivera, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Lyons 4-yard pass to Grayson Hunter, G. Portesi XP good; (M) E. Cornelius 4-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (F) J. Lyons 12-yard pass to L. Davis, G. Portesi XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) E. Cornelius 3-yard rush, N. Araujo 2-point rush; (M) R. Holland 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
King Philip, 14 @ North Attleboro, 24 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 31 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Tommy Smith 25-yard rush, Travis Hennessey XP good; (M) T. Hennessey 24-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 8-yard pass to Drew Sacco, T. Hennessey XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) T. Smith 9-yard rush, T. Hennessey XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Charlie Decelles 3-yard rush, Sean Murphy XP good.
Sharon, 19 vs. Tri-County, 6 – Final 1Q: (S) Gabe Korn 4-yard rush, Jace McCarron XP good.
2Q: (TC) Tri-County 1-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed.
3Q: (S) G. Korn 42-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed; (S) Liam Conway 16-yard pass to David Bondar, XP failed.
4Q: No scoring.
Canton, 4 @ Randolph, 1 – Final
Taunton, 1 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton closed out the season with its first win under head coach Dan Borges. Kaylee Lopes scored the opening goal, assisted by Juliana Matos, less than two minutes into the game and the Tigers were able to hold onto the lead for the next 78 minutes, while outshooting the Whalers 28-2. Senior Hayleigh Porter earned a clean sheet in her final start in goal, while classmate Christina DaCosta had a solid match in defense and senior Emily Calderon sparked the Taunton attack.
Foxboro, 2 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 1 @ Uxbridge, 8 – Final
Taunton vs. New Bedford, 4:00
FOXBORO, Mass. – Foxboro came into the new season with a roster filled with underclassmen being asked to step into major roles on both sides of the ball. After a tough start to the fall, losing the opening three games, the Warriors seem to be turning a corner.
The youth movement was on full display on Friday night at Martinelli Field. Sophomore Mike Marcucella threw three touchdown passes, including one to freshman Rashaan Lewis and another to classmate Nolan Gordon, and the defense forced four turnovers, to come from behind and beat Canton 36-14.
“Once we focused a little more, we were able to do a lot of different things,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said. “We threw, we ran the ball. It’s such a young team that it’s hard to put a finger on whether it’s going to be a slow start or a fast start. All in all, the kids played tough.”
It was a game that had playoff implications for both teams. Despite a losing record, Foxboro was the No. 9 team in the latest Div. 4 rankings, while Canton was No. 21.
The Bulldogs needed a win to climb back towards the top 16 and they came out of the gates with a strong start. On fourth and three from the Canton 16-yard-line, Ben Angelini (eight carries, 61 yards) was stopped for no gain by Luke Richards and James Robbins. On the second Foxboro possession, Robbins sacked Marcucella on first down and Josh Richards jumped on a tipped ball to get the interception.
After the return, the Bulldogs started at the Foxboro 19. On third and 11, Godson Ofonagoro (18 carries, 97 yards) took a sweep around the right side, bursting past the Warriors front seven and scoring from 20 yards out.
Foxboro started its next drive at its own 15. Marcucella (12-of-18, 206 yards) hit Gordon for a quick first down. Two plays later Brandon Mazenkes-O’Grady took the handoff to the left side of the line, cut it upfield, and then raced away leaving the Canton defense in his wake on a 72-yard touchdown.
The extra point was no good, so Canton held onto the lead into the second quarter. After forcing a three-and-out, Foxboro got the ball at midfield. Marcucella fired a pass underneath to Tony Sulham (four catches, 63 yards) for 23. On first down, the Foxboro QB threw a ball down the right sideline to Lewis and the freshman laid out at full stretch to haul in a 27-yard score.
On its next possession, Canton faced fourth down and one from its own 29. Fallon sensed that his team needed a boost and had confidence that his line could hold its block to get a yard. Owen Lane (6-of-18, 72 yards) had trouble fielding a high snap and Sully Kenneally was in the backfield to bring him down for a five-yard loss.
“It was half a foot,” Canton coach Anthony Fallon said about the decision to go for it. “I know it was bad territory but I was looking to build some momentum. Our linemen were feeling confident, they were getting off the ball, I thought we were playing some really good physicality.”
“We had it if we didn’t drop the snap. It’s tough to put your defense in a hole like that but I thought it was time to try and get a little momentum. Just didn’t work out.”
Foxboro only needed one play to take advantage of the short field. Marcucella, despite taking a big hit from Julian Prentence, was able to get the ball away down the field and Gordon out-jumped the coverage bringing down the 28-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed, but the Warriors led 19-7.
After the fourth down gamble didn’t pay off, things got even worse for Canton as Lincoln Moore jumped a route and picked off a pass to give the hosts the ball at the 26. Canton’s defense came up with a big stand, including a good tackle by Jack Flaherty on third down to force a 37-yard field goal by Sam Carpenter.
Nick Crowe returned the ensuing kick 44 yards to give Canton good starting field position. On third and 10, Lane hit Ofonagoro on a screen pass and he broke free for what looked like it was going to be huge gain. Mazenkes-O’Grady showed off his speed to chase down the Canton running back from behind and force a fumble, which Sulham recovered.
“Forty-four (Mazenkes-O’Grady) made a great play on that screen there,” Fallon said. “Godson looked like he was gone there, the kid caught him and made that play. I thought even after halftime we were going to come out and throw some punches and we did okay but they just wore us down a little bit. We just made too many mistakes in the first half.”
The Foxboro defense started the second half with another turnover. Sophomore Kaden Hassett picked off Lane at the Canton 38. Mazenkes-O’Grady got 10 on first down and 27 on the second play. Moore capped the drive with a one-yard plunge to make it 29-7.
“We had planned to play a seven-game box against them but 21 (Ofonagoro) is a good runner and 14 (Lane) is a good runner and we had to make some adjustments after the first touchdown they scored and the kids adapted well,” Martinelli explained.
Payton Francis and Anthony Porazzo combined to stuff an option attempt for a loss of five, forcing another Canton punt. Foxboro’s offense needed just one play to turn that into a bigger lead. Marcucella hit Eddie Feldman across the middle and the junior broke free, bursting away from the secondary and finding the end zone on a 66-yard score.
While the final result was a foregone conclusion, the Bulldogs weren’t quitting and put together their best drive of the night, going 79 yards on 13 plays to get back on the scoreboard. Ofonagoro has a 14-yard run to get out to the 45. On third and three, Lane got four on a keeper and then he hit Richards for 11 to the Foxboro 33. Ofonagoro had gains of 12 and 15 yards before he went around the right side for a five-yard TD.
“We’ve had three losses where we’ve had the last drive of the game to either tie or win and just weren’t able to pull that off,” Martinelli said when asked about his team overcoming an 0-3 start to the season. “I think being youthful has a lot to do with it but it’s good experience for the kids.”
Foxboro (3-4) has won three of its last four games and is tied for first in the Davenport division. The Warriors will head to Oliver Ames next week. Canton (3-3) will host Blue Hills on Friday in its final game of the regular season.
FOXBORO, Mass. — With a lot of new faces in the lineup this season, longtime Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli knew patience was key for this year’s squad to find its rhythm.
Despite starting the season 1-3 in its first four games, Martinelli saw improvement each and every week, and that all came together on Friday night in the form of a 31-0 statement win on the road over Stoughton.
The Warriors had their way on both sides of the ball, especially in the first half as they scored a touchdown on four consecutive drives. Sophomore Ben Angelini had a breakout game for Foxboro, turning 21 carries into 173 yards as Foxboro pounded the ball on the ground to the tune of 282 rushing yards.
“I talked about it in the preseason, if the coaches and kids can remain patient, and remember you never pick up where you left off, I think this could be a pretty good football team,” Martinelli said. “And we’re very young. Every week we’ve gotten better at one phase or the other, and tonight we kind of put everything together. We had some great offensive movement, good defense, and with Sam [Carpenter], I could be on the kickoff team, he’s a weapon.”
After marching into Stoughton territory on its opening drive, Carpenter had a rare miss on a field goal attempt but from there, the Warriors’ offense couldn’t be stopped.
And the defense did its job too. They forced Stoughton into a punt on its first drive, Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady blocked a punt on the second drive, and the Warriors pounced on a fumble on Stoughton’s drive.
On their second series, Foxboro marched down the field on nine plays before finding the end zone for the first time. Angelini was the workhorse on the drive, with four carries for 35 yards and one catch for 32 to get the visitors inside the 5-yard line. From there, Lincoln Moore took back-to-back handoffs, the latter for a 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
Stoughton got its first first down when Jarred Daughtry connected with James Currier on a tipped pass and another first down when Daughtry hit Tagh Swierzewski for nine yards. But a holding call, an incompletion, and a good tackle from Moore put an end to that drive. After nearly blocking the first punt, Mazenkes-O’Grady blocked the punt the Warriors recovered at the Stoughton 31-yard line.
From there, Angelini had four straight carries for 29 yards and once again Moore capped the drive, taking the handoff from the fullback spot for a 2-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
The Warriors’ offense wasn’t on the sideline very long as Stoughton coughed up the ball on the very first play of the ensuing drive. Foxboro took over at the Stoughton 22-yard line. The Black Knights’ defense stood tall as Liam Pearl had a tackle for loss on third down that would have put Foxboro in fourth and 7 from the 20-yard line, but Stoughton accepted a holding call and Foxboro’s drive stayed alive.
On the next play, sophomore quarterback Mike Marcucella bought some time, scrambled out of the pocket, and threw a jump ball that sophomore Nolan Gordon came back to get right at the goalline for a 29-yard touchdown, and a 21-0 lead with 6:08 left in the second.
A 28-yard keeper from Daughtry and a reception from Alex Huynh helped Stoughton cross midfield but that’s where the drive ended.
Even though field position couldn’t slow the Warriors’ offense. Starting at their own 32-yard line, the Warriors orchestrated another nine-play drive that culminated in another touchdown. Back-to-back passes from Marcucella to Tony Sulham moved the sticks, Marcucella scrambled for 11 yards, and Angelini broke free for 21 yards.
“He’s a puppy but he played unbelievable tonight,” Martinelli said of Angelini. “Having so many young kids, having good senior leadership — we don’t have a lot of them but it’s good leadership — and with that, they hung tough the first couple of weeks when we struggled a bit. But I’ve seen them improve every week and I think it’s the right time to see that improvement.”
Facing a third and 8 from the Stoughton 9-yard line, Marcucella found senior Jaden Becker in the back of the end zone for a 28-0 lead with just seconds left in the half.
“They made some spaces up front and that’s the name of the game,” Martinelli said of his offensive line. “I’m happy all around, happy with how all of them played. Now it’s onto another challenge with North. I know they’ll enjoy tonight but they’ll be ready to go with film on Sunday and practice on Monday.”
Foxboro only had three possessions in the second half and Carpenter drilled a 30-yard field goal at the end of the second series.
Stoughton had its two best offensive series in the third quarter, one that reached the Foxboro 30-yard line, and another that got down to the Warriors’ 25-yard line, but both ended on a turnover on downs.
Foxboro football (1-0 Hockomock Davenport, 2-3 overall) has yet another non-league game next week but this time against a familiar foe in North Attleboro on Friday at 7:00. Stoughton (1-1, 2-3) also has a crossover clash as they hit the road to face Attleboro.
Outlook: After experiencing some growing pains against a tough schedule last season, the Bulldogs boast a good number of returning players looking to have a bounce-back year in 2022.
Canton has key pieces in key spots on the field and has a total of 22 seniors on the roster. The defense will be filled with veterans including a talented group of linebackers that include seniors Jack Flaherty (captain) and Hayden Rose along with junior captain Owen Lane. While the linebackers are likely to be the heart of the defense, the Bulldogs also have some key experience – and some noticeable size – on the defensive line with seniors Julian Prentice (captain) and Jack Digirolamo. In the secondary, Charlie Cox and Josh Richards will man the safety positions to anchor the secondary unit.
The Bulldogs have a familiar face back at quarterback in Lane, an athletic lefty that can make plays with both his feet and his arm. As just a sophomore a year ago, Lane gained valuable experience and will be looking to build on a solid campaign. He will work behind a somewhat inexperienced line that is anchored by senior captain Matt Lesser at center with Nathan Levis and sophomore Luke Richard at guard, and junior Giovanni Disasio and sophomore Luke Laguerre at tackle. Senior Godson Ofonagoro has transferred in and will be in the mix at running back along with James Robbins, Cole Ouellette, and Michael Sayers.
Canton opens the season on the road at Dighton-Rehoboth but then hosts back-to-back non-league games as the Bulldogs look to build some momentum before their first meeting with Mansfield since 2012.
Foxboro narrowly missed out on a trip to Gillette last year, falling in the Div. 5 state semifinal. The reigning Davenport division champions will have to replace the production of league MVP Dylan Gordon, but the Warriors have a host of younger players ready to step into bigger roles this season and will be excited about adding league title drama to their Thanksgiving Day rivalry with Mansfield.
Even graduating its starting tailback and quarterback, Foxboro will have a lot of depth in the skill positions this season with several underclassmen showing that they are ready to contribute right away. Sophomore Mike Marcucella will take over under center and will have plenty of options in the backfield and at receiver. Junior Lincoln Moore has the strength and quickness to be a dynamic runner along with junior Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady, senior Jaiquann Williams, and sophomore Ben Angelini. Senior Payton France will be an option at wideout, junior Tony Sulham adds speed wherever he lines up, and sophomore Nolan Gordon will be a big target on the outside. The offensive line is loaded with size this season. Senior Andrew Finn will be the leader of a group that includes junior Nate Urman and sophomore Jonathan Balde. Sam Carpenter is one of the league’s top kickers and gives Foxboro the chance for points every possession.
Defense has always been a focal point for the Warriors and they have plenty of experience returning to be a strong group. As one offense, Foxboro will have plenty of size up front. Finn and Mazenkas-O’Grady are constant threats from the ends with Urman and Balde helping out in the interior. Moore was a standout linebacker as a sophomore and he leads a group that includes Williams and Angelini. Sulham is a lockdown corner and Gordon, Francis, and Marcucella will all add depth in the secondary.
“If the players and coaches are patient and are mindful that you never pick up where you left off, assuming nothing, this can be a good football team, characterized by senior strength and tremendous underclass talent,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli.
It usually doesn’t take Mansfield long to rebuild and the Hornets come into the new season with an experienced core of returning players, particularly in the skill positions, that is poised to challenge not only for the program’s first Davenport division title but also to make a deep run in the state tournament. With nearly all of its production back from last year, Mansfield will be counting on that year of experience to be ready for a tough schedule meant to prepare the Hornets for the playoffs.
The Mansfield offense should have plenty of balance to it this season. Senior Conner Zukowski will be back under center for the Hornets and he has a host of weapons to take advantage of in both the passing and ground games. Seniors Drew Sacco and Rocco Scarpellini will be in the backfield this season and both are dynamic runners who can grind yards or break big plays. Juniors Brian Butler and Nolan Bordieri could also be added to the mix. Junior Connor Curtis will give another option as a running QB. Junior Trevor Foley emerged as one of the top receivers in the league last season and junior CJ Bell, Bordieri, and junior Brandon Jackman give the Hornets a lot of depth on the outside, while senior Ryan DeGirolamo gives Zukowski a big target at tight end. The line should also be deep this season, led by seniors Jephte Jean and Colton Johnson and newcomers senior Dexter Harris, and juniors Aidan Gleavy, Matt Tryon, and Jason Riley.
Experience is a strength on the other side of the ball as well. Foley and Bell give Mansfield playmakers in the secondary that will cause havoc with opposition passing attacks. Bordieri and Jackman will add to that defensive back group. Jean was an imposing force on the defensive line and he will be helped by Gleavy and Harris. DeGirolamo gives the Hornets a threat from his defensive end position and Riley could step into that role on the other side. Scarpellini and senior Caden Colby will return at linebacker.
“Depth and experience at offensive skill positions with the return of about 95 percent of the team’s production from last year,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said of his team’s strength. “Defensive group is also experienced with the secondary returning three of the four starters and two of the three linebackers, so good experience there as well.”
Outlook: Buoyed by a productive offseason, Oliver Ames is looking to get back into the heart of the division title race this season. The Tigers have a strong nucleus of players back and are hoping a strong line – both offensively and defensively – will pave the way for success this season.
Three of the Tigers’ five captains call the offensive line home so OA will lean heavily on that unit to pave the way for the offense. Columbia University-commit Jaden Hinton has transformed into one of the best two-way linemen in not only the Hock but in the state. He will be joined by fellow captains Chris Young and John Carey, as well as classmate Luis Fernandes. The unit will be in charge of creating holes for four-year starter and captain Chad Silva. After handling lead blocking duties last year, Silva will likely be the feature back for the Tigers and has a great combination of power and speed.
Senior captain Wayne Casey will start under center and will be tasked with controlling the offense. He will work with Robert Jenkins, Jaden Graham, and Bronson Burnham as weapons on offense.
Silva is back for another year at linebacker and is a big-time playmaker on that side of the ball. Seniors Jack Morley and Jordan Young round out an experienced group while Hinton will work with Young, Fernandes, and classmate Donovan Howard along the defensive line. Seniors Jack Perron and Nick Ferrini will play in the secondary alongside Jenkins and Graham.
“I am thrilled about the work our older guys have put in this offseason and really think it should help them pay off,” said OA head coach Ed DeWitt. “We really want to continue to improve week to week and play with more consistency than we did last year.”
Sharon is continuing its independent schedule this fall and, with 13 returning starters, the Eagles will have plenty of experience. Depth continues to be a challenge for the program, but there is room for development, and head coach Dave Morse is hoping that a very young roster will continue to develop this season.
Junior quarterback Liam Conway will lead an offense that is going to try and add more balance this season. Senior Kyle Samuels and junior Jacob McLoughlin will be the primary targets in the passing game. Juniors Gabe Korn and Duncan Seaman will be in the backfield and will give the Eagles a couple of threats in the running game. Senior fullback Joden Chanel will try and lead the way in the running game and senior lineman Dan Davis will be there to open holes.
Defensively, Sharon wants to be more aggressive. Korn and Seaman will lead the linebacking corps and add playmaking on the defensive side of the ball. Davis will be an impact player on the line and Chanel will give Sharon speed on the edge. In the secondary, Samuels will be one of the top cover guys, while junior Elijah Wisdom will be a ball hawk at free safety.
“Hoping to continue to develop and turn that into winning football games,” Morse said. “We are still very young because of the lack of seniors but it is my job to get all of our players up to speed at the varsity level.”
Editor’s note: Sharon is competing a non-league schedule this season.
Outlook: Stoughton finished in the middle of the pack in the Davenport division after an injury-plagued season last year. The Black Knights reached the state tournament and kept it close before falling in the first round, and ended the season with a win over rival Canton on Thanksgiving to finish at 5-6.
Between the graduating seniors and the players returning from injury, there will be plenty of new playmakers for the Black Knights this season. One familiar face will be the one under center as junior Jarred Daughtry is back at quarterback after getting a lot of reps a season ago. Daughtry showed that he can make plays with his arm but he’s very athletic and will be someone opposing defenses have to keep an eye out for.
Running the Wing-T, Daughtry will have senior Tagh Swiezewski and juniors Liam Pearl and Alex Huynh – both of who got off to promising sophomore campaigns before injuries. All three will be involved in blocking and running, and also key pieces in the Stoughton passing game. Junior James Currier has emerged as a top option as a receiver as well.
Stoughton has been known for its tough defenses over the years under longtime head coach Greg Burke, and the Black Knights will be looking to continue that tradition this year. Stoughton gave up over 23 points per game last, which was unusually high for a program that has kept teams under 20 for at least the six seasons prior to that. An athletic secondary will feature Swierziewski, Daughtry, Huynh, and Currier. Timmy Chung returns as one of the starting linebackers alongside Pearl and Beder, while Laz, Noel, and Thomas will all be two-way linemen.
“We need to stay healthy and improve on the line,” said Burke. “We need younger players to play and to improve every week.”
Mansfield, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final (8 Inn.) – Mansfield pushed across the tying run in the top of the sixth and then scored three in the top of the eighth to secure an extra innings victory on the road at Attleboro. The hosts took the lead in the bottom of the third after Owen Taber singled, stole second and third, and eventually scored on an error to make it 1-0. After being shutout over the first five innings, Mansfield plated the tying run. Conner Zukowski was once again the catalyst for the offense with a leadoff double, and scored on a one-out single from Anthony Sacchetti. In the top of the eighth, Sacchetti struck again with one-out, this time with a solo home run to left field to make it 2-1. Jared Fraone tacked on two key insurance runs with a two-run, two-out double to left to bring Andrew Slaney and Connor Curtis home. Aaron Blinn had another strong start on the mound, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, striking out seven in six innings of work. Jake Maydak got the win with a scoreless inning of relief, and Curtis recorded the save, getting three strikeouts including the tying run at the plate for the final out. Billy Saltmarsh pitched well for the Bombardiers, allowing one earned run on three hits and four walks, striking out six in six innings.
Sharon, 2 @ Franklin, 12 – Final (6 Inn.) – Locked in a one-run game through three innings, Franklin scored nine runs over the final three innings, punctuated by walk-off grand slam from Eisig Chin, to take a win over Sharon. The visiting Eagles took a 2-1 lead on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the third but Franklin quickly took the lead back with two in the bottom half, added two more in the fourth, one in the fifth, and six in the sixth to end the game. Chin finished 3-for-3 with five RBI and two runs scored while Chris Goode also went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored to pace the Panthers. Jack Marino and Evan Raider also drove in a pair of runs each for Franklin. Ethan Voellmicke earned the win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings with no hits allowed, three walks, and three strikeouts. Drew Yaffe drew the bases-loaded walk for the Eagles and Will Hippler had an RBI single in the first inning to put Sharon ahead 1-0.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Buoyed by a three-run second inning and another strong start from freshman Nolan Gordon, Foxboro secured a 4-1 decision over visiting Canton. Foxboro got three straight walks from Ben Angelini, Matheiu Sullivan, and Tom Marcucella to load the bases, and Jack Watts’ sacrifice fly brought in the first run of the game. Louis Carangelo drew a two-out walk to load the bases again and Ryan LeClair delivered a two-run single to push the lead to 3-0. Canton got one back in the top fo the fifth on a two-out RBI single from Sean Sullivan but Foxboro restored the three run lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Caranagelo. Gordon tossed a complete game for the win, allowing one run on three hits and four walks, striking out nine. Zach Peters pitched well in relief for the Bulldogs, allowing one run on four hits and two talks, striking out three in four innings.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – After Oliver Ames plated two runs in the top of the third inning to tie the game, North Attleboro responded with four runs in the bottom half to take the lead back for good. The Rocketeers staked a 2-0 lead on a two-run single from Dillon Harding in the bottom of the second but OA’s Nathan Carpentier and Patrick Finnerty had back-to-back RBI singles to bring the visitors level. In the bottom of the third, Tyler Bannon (walk) scored after a throwing error on Derek Maceda’s bunt, Danny Curran singled in Maceda, and Harding collected another two RBI, this time on a two-out double to center to make it 6-2. Maceda added an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 7-2. David Floyd picked up the win for the Rocketeers, tossing a complete game with two runs (none earned) allowed on five hits and no walks, striking out 10. Ian Kelly pitched well in relief for the Tigers, allowing one run on one hit and three walks, striking out five in 2.2 innings.
Franklin, 16 @ Sharon, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – Franklin pushed across seven runs in each the second and third innings on its way to a big win on the road over Sharon. Marley Allen led Franklin’s offense with three hits while Aislinn Lavery, Kiera Kotwicki, and Sarah Boozang each had two hits in the win. Kotwicki also drove in a team-high four runs while Katy Liberman and Julia White each drove in three runs apiece. Kotwicki pitched three scoreless innings with one hit and one walk allowed and Madison Bergeron pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Attleboro, 14 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Attleboro pounded out 20 hits on its way to a win on the road over Mansfield. Mansfield led 1-0 after one inning, but the Bombardiers found a groove at the plate and pulled out a big road win, scoring four in both the third and fourth innings, two in the sixth, and four more in the seventh. Lindsey Perry got the win the circle, striking out six with one walk and six hits in a complete game effort. Perry helped her cause big time at the dish, going 4-for-4 with four runs scored while Sarah Maher (two runs) and Lily Routhier (four runs) each added four hits as well. Kayla Goldrick had a three-run home run in the third that sparked the offense and Rylie Camacho added two hits. The Hornets jumped in front when Callie Lake singled and aggressively advanced to second. She reached third on a passed ball and came home on a ground out by Liv Madeira. Mansfield got one back in the fifth when Cat Kipp singled to plate Molly Kucharski. The Hornets scored a third in the seventh. Julia Kelly singled and came around to score on an Olivia DeTrolio base hit. Mansfield finished with seven hits as a team, including a pair for Alanna Conley, who also made a nice defensive play in left.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – North trailed 1-0 heading to the top of the seventh but rallied with seven runs to pull out the win. Mandi Hanewich started things with a one-out triple and tied the game on a single by Ally Levine. Kelly Colleran singled Levine to third and the winning run came in on a double steal. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Emma Hanwell knocked in one, Grace Simmons walked, and Maddie Bailey brought in two more with an infield single. Colleran dominated on the mound, striking out 15 and taking a no-hitter into the seventh (despite trailing 1-0). Colleran and Levine each finished with two hits and Shaelyn Burns reached base three times.
Milford, 0 @ Taunton, 15 – Final (5 Inn.) – Taunton scored two in the first, added five in the second, and then sealed the win with an eight-run fourth. Liv Mendonca (three innings) and Cate Larson (two innings) combined on the shutout, allowing only two hits. Angie Lynch powered the Tigers on offense, going 2-for-4 with a homer, five RBI, and two runs scored from the leadoff spot. Ava Venturelli (1-for-3) drove in two and scored three runs. Brooke Aldrich (1-for-3) also drove in two and Hayley Krockta (2-for-3) and Katelyn Bizarro (2-for-3) each drove in one.
Milford, 1 @ Bellingham, 13 – Final
Franklin, 16 @ Bishop Feehan, 4 – Final – In a battle of unbeatens, Franklin rolled to a big win over Bishop Feehan with a dominating performance on the road. The Panthers built an 11-3 lead by halftime and didn’t allow a second half goal until three minutes left in the game as Brigid Earley had five saves in net and Anna Grasso played well defensively. Kaitlyn Carney paced the offense with six goals and two assists, Katie Peterson (three assists) and Kate O’Rourke each had a hat trick, Kenzie Baker added two goals, and Jackie O’Neil (goal, assist), Lindsay Atkinson (goal, assist), and Stella Regan (two assists) each had two points apiece.
Milford, 9 vs. Bellingham, 3 – Final – After a slow start that resulted in a mere one-goal halftime lead, Milford turned it on with a big second half to pull away from Bellingham. Aislinn Bennett scored a pair of first half goals and Fiona Jordan added one to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead at the break. In the second half, Carly Haley had a pair of goals and an assist, Emily Croteau scored once and had one assist, and Erin Michelson added a goal and one helper. Caitlyn Bangert turned away 11 shots in net while Mya Mitchell and Sophia Soares anchored a stellar defensive effort for the Scarlet Hawks.
Foxboro, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Foxboro sophomore Ryan Fossella and freshman Luca Meyer overcame a 0-3 deficit in the third set to prevail in a tiebreaker, clinching the final point for the Warriors’ 3-2 win over Canton. Fossella and Meyer, playing at first doubles, won the first set 6-4 but dropped the second 4-6 to force the deciding third set. Canton raced out to a 3-0 lead before Fossella and Meyer rallied and won the third set 7-6 (7-1) in the tiebreaker. Foxboro also picked up a win at second doubles from sophomores Visruth Chavalam and Nate Cote (6-1, 3-6, 6-3) as well as freshman Raj Jetty at third singles (6-2, 6-0). Max Kupferman and Suraj Ramanathan won at first and second singles for the Bulldogs.
North Attleboro, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – North Attleboro went on the road and took all five matches in straight sets to knock off host Taunton. Senior Will Folan picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at first singles, junior Brody Carter added a 6-1, 6-2 verdict at second singles, and freshman Darren Liang grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 third singles victory. The first doubles team of Griffin Rodden and Arnav Raghuvanshi emerged with a hard-fought 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) win for the Rocketeers while sophomore Quinn DiFiore and senior Aashman Gupta prevailed 6-0, 6-2 at second doubles.
Mansfield, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Mansfield won all five matches, all in straight sets, to secure a road win over Oliver Ames. Sophomore Kailash Elumelai secured a well-played 6-3, 6-3 win at first singles, freshman Neema Khosravani took a 6-1, 6-1 decision at second singles, and sophomore Iniyan Karruppusami completed the singles sweet for the Hornets with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at third singles. The team of Benson Delaney and Jonah Fine earned a 6-3, 6-1 first doubles win while Jesse Colchamiro and Jacob Weiner earned a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win at second doubles.
Sharon, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – In a battle of undefeated division leaders, the Davenport-leading Eagles of Sharon handed Franklin its first loss of the season. Sharon secured the victory with a pair of wins from both singles and doubles action for a 4-1 verdict. Alex Budovalcev earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at second doubles and Jacob Slavsky added a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at third singles. The team of Mitch Weiss and Ruemon Bhattacharyya overcame a one-set deficit to emerge with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win. The team of Sava Kassev and Hyojae Park also prevailed in three sets, taking a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win at second doubles for the Eagles. Franklin’s Vayshnav Malhotra earned a 6-2, 6-3 win at first singles.
Taunton @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Franklin, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final – The Davenport-leading Eagles of Sharon swept all five matches, handing Kelley-Rex leading Franklin its first Hock loss of the season. Navya Shukla took a 6-1, 7-5 win at first singles, Ale Aguilar added a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles, and freshman Judy Song prevailed 6-0, 6-0 at third singles for the Eagles. The team of juniors Abby Vilk and Sophia Oh earned a 6-4, 6-1 win at first doubles and the Eagles got another point from freshman Olivia Landstein and junior Ellie Zhao at second doubles (7-6 , 6-0).
King Philip, 5 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Rudy Gately tossed a complete game, allowing only one earned run, to help the Warriors bounce back with a road win. Gately gave up six hits and struck out five. He also had a hit and scored a pair of runs. Max Robison drove in the first KP run in the second with a ground ball that brought in Gately, who had walked. In the third, Travis Crawford singled and stole second. Matthew Kelley dropped down a sac bunt to move Crawford to third and then Shawn Legere scored the run with a double to center. KP scored the winning runs in the sixth. Brendan Sencaj singled and Gately bunted for a hit, with Sencaj moving to third and Gately taking second. Will Astorino’s ground ball brought in one and Matt DiFiore’s safety squeeze scored Gately. The Warriors got an insurance run in the seventh. Kelley walked and Legere was hit by a pitch. A Sencaj fly ball moved Kelley to third and he would come home on a passed ball.
Sharon, 6 @ Canton, 10 – Final – Canton put up 10 runs for the second straight day and earned another win, this time taking down visiting Sharon. Tied 1-1 through 3.5 innings, Canton exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a lead for good. Jay Kelleher and Matt Quan each drove in a pair of runs with a single to push the Bulldogs advantage to 6-1. Sharon responded with four runs in the top of the fifth to make it a one-run game but Canton answered with three of its own in the bottom half to pad the lead, getting an RBI from both Hayden Rose and Matt Hart. Jack Digirolamo went 3-for-4 for Canton with two RBI and two runs scored while Quan tossed two scoreless innings in relief to get the save. Palash Raina had a three-run triple for Sharon and scored a pair of runs.
Foxboro, 9 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Foxboro freshman Nolan Gordon tossed a complete game shutout to lead the Warriors to a quality win on the road at Frothingham Park over Oliver Ames. Gordon allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and didn’t have a walk, striking out four for the win. The Warriors’ offense plated three runs in three straight innings starting in the third inning. Junior Louis Carangelo had an RBI single, freshman Ryan O’Leary scored on a wild pitch, and Jack Watts scored on a ground out as Foxboro jumped ahead 3-0. Freshman Ben Angelini had a one-out RBI single to start the scoring in the fourth, and Carangelo drove in two more with a two-out single to center to make it 6-0. Liam Mulkern’s triple brought Tom Marcucella (double) home in the top of the fifth, Angelini drew a bases-loaded walk for a run, and Kenny Mello (HBP) scored on a ground out to make it 9-0.
Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 11 – Final (6 Inn.) – Franklin pushed across four runs in the bottom of the third to increase its lead to 5-0, and then ended the game with a six-run fifth inning to knock off Milford. Jase Lyons continued to rake at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and one run scored to pace the Panthers’ offense. Chris Goode added two hits and two RBI, Eisig Chin also drove in two runs, and Henry DiGiorgio had a pair of hits and three runs scored. Junior Alfred Mucciarone had a strong outing on the bump, allowing one run on six hits and no walks, striking out five in five innings.
Taunton, 2 @ Mansfield, 7 – Final – Mansfield exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and that was enough as the Hornets handed Taunton its first loss of the season. The Tigers staked a 1-0 lead after an RBI double from Braden Sullivan scored Dawson Bryce in the top of the first but Mansfield answered quickly, loading the bases on three of the first four at-bars. Jared Fraone singled in Matt DeShiro, Connor Curtis drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-0, and Jake Maydak brought home two runs on a base hit. With two outs, Conner Zukowski got his second hit of the inning with a two-run double to make it 7-1. Jimmy Gilleran handled the lead the rest of the way for the Hornets, allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk, striking out six in a complete game effort.
North Attleboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton led 3-0 after two innings, but North rallied with seven runs in the final two innings to pick up the win and stay unbeaten in league play. Danny Curran went the distance for the Rocketeers, allowing only four hits and one earned run, striking out seven. The Black Knights got one in the first and two in the second to take the early lead. It took until the sixth inning before North got on the board. Derek Maceda started the rally with a walk, stole second, and scored on a triple by Tyler DeMattio (3-for-3, two extra base hits and two RBI). DeMattio would score on a ground out by Curran. North took the lead with a five-run seventh. Jordan Paradis beat out an infield single to lead things off, David Floyd followed with a single and both moved up on a sac bunt by Christian Bates. Tyler Bannon brought them both home with a double and DeMattio scored him with a double. Curran (three RBI) plated two more with a single up the middle to put North up by four.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 7 – Final – King Philip softball Jordan Bennett tossed a two-hit shutout to lead the Warriors to a 7-0 win over a quality opponent in Attleboro. Bennett allowed just two singles — both to Attleboro’s Lily Routhier — with one coming in the first, and one coming in the sixth, but responded with a strikeout for the third out on both occasions. Junior Charlotte Raymond and freshman Liv Petrillo each brought in a run with an RBI single during KP’s four-run second inning, and two runs came in to score after an error on sophomore Maddie Paschke’s squeeze bunt. KP added two key insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth after both junior Sarah Cullen and sophomore Caitlyn Sencaj singled and then both came into score on a hit from senior Meg Sherwood. Petrillo drove in another run with a double in the bottom of the fifth to plate Mia Bennett (walk).
Canton, 16 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Jessica Wright and Olivia Mackwell each recorded five hits and drove in five runs as Canton picked up a big win on the road over Sharon. Sam Vrabel added four hits and drove in three runs while Taylor Reynolds chipped in with a pair of hits and four RBI on the same. Sophia Santos and Gillian Gordon pitched well for the Bulldogs in the win.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game – Foxboro scored in each of the first five innings, including a four-run second and a three-run fifth, to secure a win over visiting Oliver Ames. Freshman Vittoria Cuscia had a big day for the Warriors, getting it done both in the circle and at the plate. She tossed a complete game, including six shutout innings before the Tigers struck for three in the seventh. She added seven strikeouts and then paced the offense with three hits and two runs scored. Peyton Feldman had a big day on the base path, stealing four bases and scoring three runs.
Franklin, 18 @ Milford, 8 – Final – Franklin’s bats exploded for 18 runs on 18 hits, scoring in five straight innings between the second and sixth inning during a victory over Milford. Sophomore Carly Johnson-Pellegri had a huge day at the dish, going 4-for-5 while driving in eight runs to pace the Panthers’ offense, scoring three times herself. Kiera Kotwicki added three hits, three runs, and RBI in the win while Aislinn Lavery (two RBI), Georgia Harvey, Katy Liberman and Hailey Fales each added two hits in the win. Milford’s Cae Pellegrini had two hits, including her second home run in as many days, and sophomore Grace Bonina chipped in with two hits and two RBI in the win.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton, 13 – Final (5 Inn.) – Taunton scored 11 runs in the first inning and never looked back, rolling to a big win and ending Mansfield’s three-game win streak. Liv Mendonca allowed just two hits and one walk and struck out nine to pick up the win. Kyleah Plumb (two runs), Kaysie DeMoura (two runs and five RBI), Ava Venturelli (thee runs and two RBI), and Hayley Krockta (run scored and RBI) each had two hits for the Tigers. Angie Lynch drove in a pair and Kylie Thorpe and Mendonca both drove in one. Venturelli and DeMoura both went deep for Taunton. Callie Lake and Cat Kipp had Mansfield’s hits.
Stoughton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – Kelly Colleran was dominant in the circle and at the plate, leading North to a crucial division win over Stoughton. Colleran earned the win with a 14-strikeout day and helped her own cause by going 3-for-4 with two homers, a double, and three RBI. Mandi Hanewich continued to do her job in the leadoff spot with two hits, two stolen bases and a run scored. Shaelyn Burns blasted a three-run homer in the third to give North separation. Ally Levine and Zoey McDonough added a hit and a run scored apiece, while Maryellen Charette had a strong game at catcher.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Canton, 9 – Final – Clayton Billingkoff and Connor Ruppert each scored four goals to help North earn the season sweep of Canton. Matt Antonetti added a hat trick for the Rocketeers and JT Gallagher was trong in goal with 12 saves. Jared Vacher continued to be a force on the draw, winning 19 face-offs.
Attleboro vs. Norton, 4:00
Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip swept all three singles matches and added another win in doubles play, taking a 4-1 verdict over visiting Attleboro. Senior Brady Jannell prevailed with a hard-fought 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 win at first singles, senior Jonathan Cohen added a 6-1, 6-1 second doubles win, and junior Jackson Hom secured a 6-2, 6-4 win at third singles. The team of senior Diego Neto and junior Noah Ihley added a first doubles win (7-6, 6-4) for the Warriors. Attleboro’s Luke Hinton and Brady Rosen won 6-2, 6-3 at second doubles.
Canton, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – A sweep of doubles and one win from singles action gave Sharon a close win over visiting Canton. The team of Ruemon Bhattacharyya and Mitch Weiss won at first doubles, while Hyojae Park and Sava Kassev won at second doubles for the Eagles. Sharon also got a win from Jacob Slavsky (6-1, 6-0) at third singles. Canton sophomore Max Kupferman prevailed from a well-played, hard-fought first singles battle with sophomore Matthew Lally to take a 6-3, 6-7, 10-8 win while Suraj Ramanathan added a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this match – Oliver Ames second doubles team of Alex Vasiliou and Ben Dias emerged victorious after a marathon three-set match, giving the Tigers their fourth straight win. Second doubles was a battle from the get-go and Vasiliou and Dias prevailed with a 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 win to clinch the match. The Tigers also got a big win from sophomore Nick Westerbeke, who dropped the first set 0-6 but rallied to win the second, and took the third 6-2 at first singles.
Franklin, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin won all five matches in straights to stay undefeated on the season, moving to 7-0. Senior Drew Mahoney earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at first singles, sophomore Ahan Shetty secured a 6-0, 6-1 win at second singles, and junior Ryan Essam prevailed from third singles with a 6-4, 6-4 verdict. The team of seniors Tim O’Keefe and Aidan Karlowicz earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles, and the team of freshman Dan Reis and junior Tyler Fitzpatrick were victorious, 6-1, 6-0, at second doubles.
Mansfield, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Senior Pratham Tallam and junior Jesse Colchamiro overcame a one-set deficit to prevail with a third-set tiebreaker win, completing Mansfield’s sweep over Taunton. Pratham and Colchamiro earned a 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 win at first doubles and sophomore Jacob Weiner and junior James Kennedy secured a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles. Mansfield won all three singles matches in first sets: Neema Khosravani (6-1, 6-1) at first singles, Kailash Elumela (6-2, 6-0) at second singles, and Benson Delaney (6-0, 6-0) at third singles.
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – Freshman Darren Liang and the sophomore tandem of Quinn DiFiore and Aaryan Anjna both overcome a one-set deficit to get a win, helping North Attleboro complete a sweep over Stoughton. Liang rallied for a win at third singles, taking the match 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 while DiFiore and Anjna earned a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10) win at second doubles. Senior Will Folan took a 6-2, 6-0 decision at first singles, junior Brody Carter added a 6-3, 7-5 victory at second sinlges, and the team of junior Griffin Rodden and sophomore Arnav Raghuvanshi secured a 6-4, 6-3 first doubles win for North Attleboro.
King Philip, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro picked up its biggest win of the season, getting a big boost in doubles action, with a 3-2 decision over King Philip. Seniors Saharla Yusuf and Tina Lam continued their impressive campaign with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win at first doubles while the team of senior Alison Rebelo and junior Bree Paulette emerged with a 6-4, 6-3 win at second doubles. The Bombardiers got a third point at first singles from senior Ella Lynch Bartek (6-2, 6-6 [2-3] ret.). King Philip sophomore Shea Mellman earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at second singles and junior Caroline Freese added a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win at third singles.
Sharon, 5 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Sharon’s Navya Shukla emerged from a third-set tiebreaker that took 34 points to decide to get the win, completing the Eagles’ sweep over Canton. Shukla and Canton’s Camila Cutter split the first two sets before engaging in an epic tie-breaker with the hosts first singles prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 18-16. Sharon also got wins from Ale Aguilar at second singles (6-2, 6-2), Judy Song at third singles (6-1, 6-1), the team of Ritu Sreeram and Sophia Oh at first doubles (6-2, 6-2), and the duo of Sasha Fein and Abby Vilk at second doubles (6-2, 6-4).
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – The team of Olivia Querzoli and Marina Mierzwinksi rallied from a one-set deficit to win two in a row, clinching the decisive third point to give the Tigers a win over Foxboro, their third win this week. Querzoli and Mierzwinksi rallied to secure a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win while OA’s first doubles team of Morgan Vasiliou and Caroline Peper earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory. OA’s first win came at third singles from Elizabeth O’Brien (6-2, 6-1). Foxboro won both first singles (Athena Li) and second singles (Hailey Kornbluth) without dropping a set, taking both 6-0, 6-0.
Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Taking all five matches in straight sets, Franklin defended home court against visiting Milford. Izzy Trull took a 6-2, 6-0 win at first singles, Vedika Vinayak earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Sarah Schiavo completed the singles sweep with a 6-0, 6-3 victory at third singles. The team of Allison Bagley and Amulya Jayam earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at at first doubles while the tandem of Ashmita Boopathy and Brooke Daniels emerged with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at second doubles.
Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:45
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Taunton vs. Greater New Bedford, 5:00
2021 Record: 5-11 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Steve Dunlea
With a good mix of new faces and experienced veterans, Attleboro is aiming to be in the mix of a loaded Kelley-Rex division. For the Bombardiers, it will lean heavily on a deep pitching staff.
It starts with seniors Billy Saltmarsh, who is committed to UMass Dartmouth, and Cian Kelleher, who is committed to Stonehill. They’ll be joined in the rotation by junior lefty Danny Johnson while senior Jamie Bloch and junior Sean O’Hara lend strength to the relief corps. Sophomore Matt Harvie, sophomore Johnny Pagano, and freshman Tyler Dunlea will also be in the mix to see innings on the mound.
Senior captain Owen Taber (UMass Dartmouth) will be an anchor of the Bombardier defense at second base while juniors Peter DelPozzo and Cooper Johnson, along with Pagano, look to fill in at shortstop as senior captain Evan Houle works his way back from an injury from basketball season. Johnson, DelPozzo, and Dunlea are in the mix for the starting job at third while Bloch (committed to UMaine Farmington) and Christian Dame provide depth at first base.
In the outfield, senior Nate George will cover a lot of ground from his spot in centerfield, and the Bombardiers will rotate between Parket Sacket, Hayden Hagerty, Ben Hochwarter, Danny Johnson, Brody McKenna, and Harvie for the other two outfielder spots. Junior Aidan Hochwarter provides a steady presence both at the dish and behind the plate at catcher.
“The strength of this team is its chemistry,” said Attleboro head coach Steve Dunlea. “We have a great group of returning players who have really worked hard to build a team bond through the pandemic. I give a lot of credit to the captains from last year and this year. Despite the challenges they faced with COVID, they were able to rebuild the chemistry of the Attleboro baseball program that was lost when the 2020 season was canceled.”
2021 Record: 8-7 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Ben Shuffain
Canton got off to a great start to the 2021 campaign, winning six of their first seven games but ended up with a first-round exit in the playoffs. With a strong core of returning players plus a couple of promising young players, the Bulldogs are aiming to get back to the postseason again this season.
The Bulldogs certainly have some holes to fill with the loss of a talented senior class and the departure of ace Andrew Middleton. Fourth-year head coach Ben Shuffain will lean on captains Andy Butler and Matt Chafin to lead the charge this season, along with three-year players Nico Bonanno, Matt Quan, and Zach Peters. Chafin was one of the best offensive players in the league last year, finishing second with a 0.442 average.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Shuffain has a lot of options for pitching, with at least a dozen choices to fill out the rotation and relief corps. Jay Kelleher, Hayden Rose, and Owen Lane will all be in the mix for innings on the mound. Matty Lesser, James Young, Jack Digirolomo, and freshman Kyle Redquest will work the infield while the catching duties will fall to Sean Sullivan and Matt Hart.
“We are a very experienced team with a lot of guys with a lot of innings pitched from last season and wins under their belt,” Shuffain said. “With a few of last year’s backups moving into starting roles and the addition of a few younger guys and the experienced upperclassmen this team should have a good season as they will continue to work hard on the field and in the weight room.”
2021 Record: 5-10 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 South Preliminary Round Coach: Derek Suess
Foxboro has some of the top returning talents in the league but will look for some of its younger players to provide the depth needed to compete for a division title this season.
Junior captain Sean O’Leary is one of the top arms in the league and has a lot of varsity experience under his belt already. He will be the ace of the staff that will also feature junior Mathieu Sullivan, who made his varsity debut last season, and freshman Nolan Gordon, who has impressed during the preseason. Pitching depth will come from seniors Andrew Peterson, Tom Marcucella, Liam Mulkern, and junior Alex Stern.
Senior captain Tom Marcucella is one of the most experienced players in the league and his versatility gives head coach Derek Suess a lot of options in the infield. Marcucella can play at any of the four infield spots but will spend the majority of his time at first base. Junior Ryan LeClair is back in the mix at shortstop after a breakout season a year ago, sophomore Tyler Prescott is back for his second year with the squad, and freshman Ryan O’Leary offers a solid bat and glove. Senior Kyle Smith and junior Josh Connolly provide solid depth in the infield.
Senior captain and three-sport star Jack Watts will patrol center field for the Warriors and will be flanked by juniors Kenny Mello and Louis Carangelo, all three looking to make an impact with their bats this season. When not pitching, Gordon will also be in the mix for some innings in the outfield and sophomore Shane Henri gives Suess another solid option. Mulkern is the starting catcher with freshmen Ben Angelini and Mike Marcucella in the mix as well.
“We have great leadership from our captains and upperclassmen which has set the tone for the rest of our guys,” Suess said. “The underclassmen have bought in and can contribute right away. We must embrace the daunting challenge of playing in the Hock, and compete with confidence to give ourselves the best chance to reach our goals.”
2021 Record: 16-2 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Zach Brown
Franklin graduated some of the best players in the league after last season, but the Panthers still have a loaded lineup and a deep and talented pitching staff that could result in a very deep playoff run.
Not many teams could lose one of the best hitters in the league (Nate Cooke, 0.429) and one of the best catchers in the league (Jake Fitzgibbons, 0.353) and still boast one of the best lineups in the league but that’s how deep the Panthers are. Jack Marino, Ben Jarosz, and Chris Goode were all among the league leaders offensively a season ago, and Franklin also has sophomore Henry Digiorgio and junior Eisig Chin back after picking up a year of varsity experience. Junior Ryan Gerety, a Northeastern commit, is one of the best fielders in the region and is very dangerous at the plate.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
And after surrendering a league-low 40 runs last season, Franklin returns its entire rotation. Jacob Jette had a great junior season and will be one of the best pitchers in the Hock while junior Alfred Mucciarone will look to build upon a solid sophomore campaign. Relievers James Kuczmiec and Ethan Voellmicke dominated last season, coming in time after time and shutting opponents down.
2021 Record: 8-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Jeff Plympton, Jr.
It was a good start for head coach Jeff Plympton as the Warriors won eight games last season and went to the playoffs, bowing out to eventual state champions Xaverian.
King Philip has the majority of its lineup back and will be looking to make some noise in a very competitive Kelley-Rex division. After averaging almost five runs a game last year, the Warriors have some key bats back in the lineup this year. Senior Shawn Legere is a returning league all star that starts at shortstop and is coming off a season in which he hit 0.386 and scored a league-best 16 runs. Rudy Gately had a breakout sophomore season and will be a key bat in the lineup again this year.
Gately will also be a go-to option on the mound for Plympton after going 4-0 last season, striking out 33 in 34.1 innings of work with an impressive 1.03 ERA. Tommy Martorano also gained a lot of experience last year as a sophomore and will give the Warriors a solid 1-2 punch for its starting rotation.
“We have a lot of arms to roll out if we need them which is great,” Plympton said. “Shawn Legere provides great leadership to the team and demands hard work at practice and games. Our fielding should be strong this year but I’m looking forward to watching our offense. Last year we struggled at the plate but this year looks promising. Last season we notched our first playoff win in over a decade and we look to keep those strides moving forward this year.”
2021 Record: 8-8 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round Coach: Chris Hall
With a talented and experienced pitching staff and a list of players eager to make a name for themselves at the dish, Mansfield enters the season with the goal of challenging for the Kelley-Rex division title.
The Hornets were young last spring, and a lot of players earned their first varsity starts on the mound and at-bats. Mansfield has the majority of its team back and will be looking to turn that valuable experience into a successful 2022 campaign. They certainly aren’t shying away from testing that talent with defending state champions Xaverian, Maryland powerhouse Archbishop Spalding, and other top teams on its schedule along with a loaded Hock schedule.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Seniors Anthony Sacchetti, Aaron Blinn, Jimmy Gilleran, and Colby Geddis highlight a deep and talented pitching staff for the Hornets. All of those arms got their feet wet during last year’s season and now give head coach Chris Hall a lot of flexibility with his rotation. There won’t be a drop off as the games go on with four solid options.
The big challenge for the Hornets a season ago was offense, scoring a division low 57 runs. With a strong offseason under their belts, there are a lot of names eager to step up and improve that number. Sacchetti, Gilleran, Geddis, and classmates Andrew Slaney and Jared Fraone will try to lead the way while juniors Conner Zukowski, Sam Martin, Caden Colby, Aidan Jones, and Rocco Scarpellini are all in the mix. Sophomores Connor Curtis and Jake Maydak both played varsity last year and could be impact players right away. Behind the dish, Aidan Jones and Wyatt Bolduc are battling for the starting spot at catcher after the Hornets lost senior Liam Anastasia to an injury.
“The keys to success this season rely heavily on every player doing their job,” Hall said. “The Hornets bring a well-rounded roster to the table and expect to compete all season long. Pitching and defense continue to be a strength for the Hornets. Offensively, the Hornets look to use a variety of talent to score runs and win baseball games.”
2021 Record: 5-9 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Alex Dion
There were some growing pains for the Hawks a season ago with a young squad, but with just five players graduated from a year ago, the Hawks are hoping to be a contender in a deep Kelley-Rex division.
Head coach Alex Dion plans to get contributions from all four classes this season, starting with a strong group of seniors that cover the field. Tyler Lane and Grant Scudo will see time in the outfield, Justin Luchini mans first base, Alex McColl can play in a number of spots in the infield, Cole Forrest is a versatile weapon, and John Denegris is an option on the mound.
The rotation will be anchored by junior Evan Cornelius, junior Tyler Caldon, and sophomore Anthony LaPierre. Cornelius started every game for the Hawks last season and will play at first when he’s not on the mound. Caldon and LaPierre, both right-handed pitchers, are up from the JV squad and have impressed in the early going.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Offensively, sophomore Keith Lee picked up valuable experience after starting nine games as a freshman last season. He will start behind the dish and be one of the most important bats in the lineup. Sophomores Damien Carter and Sean McGee also started last season and will make up Milford’s middle infield.
“I am excited about the potential that this group has,” Dion said. “With strong senior leadership and varsity players in all four grades we have an opportunity to compete this year and for years to come. This is a great league and I have a lot of respect for the other teams in it. It starts on the mound and if we can get quality pitching out of the arms that we have here we have a chance to compete. We will have to win games in a variety of ways and I believe that we have the athletes to do that.”
2021 Record: 12-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Mike Hart
After splitting the division title a season ago, the Rocketeers enter the 2022 campaign with a chance at winning back-to-back division titles for the first time in 30 years.
Replacing ace Dennis Colleran won’t be easy but North Attleboro has some solid arms on the mound including senior Danny Curran and senior David Floyd, who missed last season. Curran went 2-0 last year and struck out 22 in 23 innings of work with a 3.65 ERA. Head coach Mike Hart also has pitching options in senior Anthony Wescott, and juniors Jordan Paradis, Derek Maceda, and Ayden Delaney.
One of the big reasons the Rocketeers had such success last season was their offense, which scored a Davenport division 110 runs. Maceda was one of the best bats in the league and will patrol the outfield for the Big Red along with Curran, Paradis, and senior Christian Bates. In the infield, Floyd will be joined by classmates Brody Rosenberg, Gavin Wells, and Nik Kojoian, and senior Tyler Bannon will patrol shortstop. Junior Aidan Conrad had a breakout season starting behind the dish a year ago.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
“We’re going to look to put a lot of pressure on other teams offensively,” Hart said. “We have many capable pitchers who can provide quality innings. We feel our defense will limit mistakes and not give many runs away. If we want to have a successful season we will need contributions from everybody on the roster on a daily basis. We will rely on our senior leadership and experience to guide us through the season. We need guys to excel in their role and focus on the job at hand.”
2021 Record: 9-6 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Joe Abarr
After earning a share of the Davenport title last season, the Tigers have the pieces in place to make another run at the division crown this year.
A combination of veterans and new faces eager to make an impression gives head coach Joe Abarr a nice mix to work with. Offensively, the Tigers will look for their senior captains to lead the way. Jake Waxman will play first base and potentially some outfield and is one of the best bats in the Hockomock League while Joe Cicchetti could also see time at first as well as the outfield, and is a strong two-way player. Patrick Finnerty is back in the mix after a strong junior season.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
On the mound, OA has a pair of lefties at the top of the rotation. Nick Clark (3-0, 2.78, 32K) and Jack Richardson (2-2, 2.07, 21K) are both coming off great junior seasons and will give the Tigers a solid 1-2 punch on the mound this year. Richardson will also see time in the outfield and will be a key piece of the lineup offensively.
“We have a good mix of returners and young talented players looking for opportunities to help our team win,” Abarr said. “We are excited for a full ‘normal’ season back in the Hock.”
2021 Record: 3-12 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Preliminary Round Coach: Andrew Poliferno
Sharon enters the season with a roster eager to compete among the Hockomock League’s top teams, but the Eagles will have to do so all on the road this season. With the construction of the new high school currently underway where Sharon’s field was, it will be all road trips for the Eagles this season.
It will start with the 10 seniors on the team, including captains Dan Okstein and Dylan Labbe. Okstein is back after an injury limited his time a year ago and will be a key piece in the lineup offensively. He will be the anchor of the outfield, playing mostly in left but could also see time in center. Labbe has a ton of varsity experience and will be the ace of the pitching staff this year. Also on the mound returns sophomore Luke Meixel, one of the league’s breakout players last year as a freshman. junior Alex Coughlin, Ryan Baker, Zach Loomis, Jack Broughton, and Okstein will also be in the mix for innings on the mound.
Offensively, Nate Yaffe is back after a great year at the dish a year ago and will take over at shortstop. Not only is Yaffe consistent with the bat, but he’s also very dangerous on the base paths. Another speedy option at the dish will be Palash Raina and the Eagles are hoping to get key contributions at the plate from Okstein and varsity newcomer Connor Blaney. Liam Conway takes over behind the dish and Will Hippler, Owen Kevorkian, Eli Greenfield, Josh Tolentino, and Jake Loomis are all in the mix for spots in the lineup as well.
2022 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
“As a second-year varsity coach, I couldn’t be prouder to see how ready our players are to play their 2022 season,” said Sharon head coach Andrew Poliferno. “It is evident our players worked hard during the off-season to prepare to compete in the Hockomock. Our players are gritty, determined, and not afraid to put in the hard work that it takes to improve. In addition to their drive to succeed, the team vibe is positive and players go out of their way to encourage one another. I believe we have the makings of a very talented and passionate group of players ready to make noise for their 2022 season.”
2021 Record: 4-10 2021 Finish: Missed Postseason Coach: Kevin Carty
There will be a lot of new faces in the Stoughton lineup this season, and that goes for the dugout too as Kevin Carty takes over for Mike Armour, who was the longest-tenured coach in the Hockomock League.
Carty is going to lean heavily on his seniors, who make up over half of the Knights’ roster. There is a lot of versatility among the senior class as well with players like Joe McNulty and Jonah Ly, who could see time in the outfield, the infield, on the mound, and in McNulty’s case, even behind the dish. Brad Franey, Anthony Girolamo, Anthony Tilton, James Price, and Owen Wiesnberger are all seniors that are in the mix for infield spots.
Girolamo, Ly, and Price will be joined by sophomore Will Worsley, junior Jeriel Cuello, junior Sean Farley, junior Joe Rush, and sophomore Hunter Malkin as options on the mound for Carty.
“We have a deep group of seniors that will carry us this year,” Carty said. “These seniors are very athletic and can play anywhere on the field. They have the ability to be great leaders for the younger players. We will go as far as they carry us.”
2021 Record: 13-5 2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal Coach: Blair Bourque
Replacing a league MVP is never an easy task as the Tigers have to do with Danny MacDougall, but Taunton has a lot of depth and a lot of new faces looking to make a name for themselves as they help Taunton challenge for the Kelley-Rex title.
The strength of the 2022 Tigers will be offense and defense. Taunton has already lost some pitchers to injury so it will be a group effort on the mound this season. Coming off a season in which they scored 119 runs (nearly 7 runs a game), the offense will once again be a key component. Dawson Bryce had a breakout year after hitting 0.341 and driving in 12 runs a season ago, and junior Ryan MacDougall is one of the best power hitters in the league.
Seniors Evan Cali, Colby DeCouta, Colin Botelho, and junior Braden Sullivan are all very experienced at the varsity level and head coach Blair Bourque will lean on their leadership this season.
“Unlike in years past, we don’t have any true pitchers; our pitching staff consists of position players who will need to step up and give us an opportunity to compete,” Bourque said.”Offensively, we’ll look to have productive at-bats, be patient, and take advantage of mistakes. We should have one of the more productive offenses Taunton has had in some time. Although we’ll continue to play fundamental baseball, we hope to be able to capitalize when opportunity presents itself.”